The Russian oligarchs didn’t have much trouble buying up yachts, jets, and mansions — that is, if they didn’t end up in prison, exiled, or mysteriously dead. But the war in Ukraine has turned the world against members of this opulent uber-class. Where did all the money come from, and is there still a chance of them holding on to it?
Donal Conor David Dermot Donat Cruise O’Brien (3 November 1917 – 18 December 2008), often nicknamed “The Cruiser”, was an Irish diplomat, politician, writer, historian and academic who served as Minister for Posts and Telegraphs from 1973 to 1977, a Senator for Dublin University from 1977 to 1979, a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin North-East constituency from 1969 to 1977 and a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from January 1973 to March 1973.
His opinion of Britain’s role in Ireland, after independence and partition in 1921, changed during the 1970s, in response to the outbreak of The Troubles. He saw opposing nationalist and unionist traditions as irreconcilable and switched from a nationalist to a unionist view of Irish politics and history, and from opposition to support for partition. Cruise O’Brien’s outlook was radical and seldom orthodox. He summarised his position as intending “to administer an electric shock to the Irish psyche”.
Internationally, though a long-standing member of the Irish Anti-Apartheid Movement, he opposed in person the African National Congress’s academic boycott of the apartheid regime in South Africa. Views O’Brien espoused during and after the 1970s contrasted with those he articulated during the 1950s and 1960s.
During his 1945–61 career as a civil servant, Cruise O’Brien promoted the government’s anti-partition campaign. In the 1960s he was associated with the ‘New Left’ and opposition to US military involvement in Viet Nam. At the 1969 general election, he was elected to Dáil Éireann as a Labour Party TD for Dublin North-East. He served as a Minister for Posts & Telegraphs, with responsibility for broadcasting, between 1973 and 1977 in a coalition government. During those years he was also the Labour Party’s Northern Ireland spokesman. O’Brien was later known primarily as an author and as an Irish Independent and Sunday Independent columnist.
Cruise O’Brien’s many books include: States of Ireland (1972), where he first indicated his revised view of Irish nationalism, The Great Melody (1992), his ‘thematic’ biography of Edmund Burke, and his autobiography Memoir: My Life and Themes (1999). He also published a collection of essays, Passion and Cunning (1988), which includes a substantial piece on the literary work of William Butler Yeats and some challenging views on the subject of terrorism, and The Siege: The Saga of Israel and Zionism (1986), a history of Zionism and the State of Israel. His books, particularly those on Irish issues, tend to be personalised, for example States of Ireland, where he made the link between the political success of the republican Easter Rising and the consequent demise of his Home Rule family’s position in society. His private papers have been deposited in the University College Dublin Archives.
In 1963, Cruise O’Brien’s script for a Telefís Éireann programme on Charles Stewart Parnell won him a Jacob’s Award.
He was a longtime columnist for the Irish Independent. His articles were distinguished by hostility to the Northern Ireland peace process, regular predictions of civil war involving the Republic of Ireland, and a pro-Unionist stance.
Cruise O’Brien held visiting professorships and lectureships throughout the world, particularly in the United States, and controversially in apartheid South Africa, openly breaking the academic boycott. A persistent critic of Charles Haughey, Cruise O’Brien coined the acronym GUBU (Grotesque, Unbelievable, Bizarre and Unprecedented), based on a statement by Charles Haughey, who was then Taoiseach, commenting on the discovery of a murder suspect, Malcolm MacArthur, in the apartment of the Fianna Fáil Attorney General Patrick Connolly. Until 1994, Cruise O’Brien was a Pro-Chancellor of the University of Dublin.
According to Roy Foster, Colm Tóibín wrote that Seamus Heaney “was so popular that he could even survive being endorsed by Conor Cruise O’Brien, which normally meant ‘the kiss of death’ in Ireland. The legendary The New Yorker fact-checking desk, unable to let a single statement go uncorroborated, found out Cruise O’Brien’s Dublin phone number and rang to inquire if his approval meant the kiss of death in his native country: they then telephoned an astonished Tóibín and reproachfully told him: ‘Mr O’Brien said: “No, it didn’t”.'”
The multiple impacts of global climate change already are disastrously damaging and widespread, and increasing fast. Impacts especially extreme weather events (including forest fires) will become unavoidably severe and widespread, even with a global emergency response. The IPPC AR6 reports that there is now the risk of passing tipping points. Without immediate rapid global decline in emissions a livable planet for our future will be lost.
Tom Keene, Jonathan Ferro and Lisa Abramowicz have the economy and the markets “under surveillance” as they cover the latest in finance, economics and investment, and talk with the leading voices shaping the conversation around world markets. This show is simulcast worldwide on Bloomberg Television and Radio.
President Biden is on his first trip to Asia as president to meet with other leaders from the “Quad” — Japan, India and Australia — as part of efforts to counter China’s growing power in the region. During the trip, Biden has contradicted longstanding U.S. policy of “strategic ambiguity” on Taiwan by vowing to defend it militarily if China attacks. “This idea that the United States is obligated to come to the defense of Taiwan if it [China] attacked, is simply not U.S. policy,” says Michael Swaine, director of the Quincy Institute’s East Asia program. Swaine says the official U.S.-China policy on Taiwan — which prioritizes peaceful unification over military force — has been subtly weakened by both sides, and “President Biden’s recent comment weakens it even further.”
We look in depth at “The Ransom,” a new series in The New York Times that details how France devastated Haiti’s economy by forcing Haiti to pay massive reparations for the loss of slave labor after enslaved Haitians rebelled, founding the world’s first Black republic in 1804. We speak with historians Westenley Alcenat and Gerald Horne on the story of Haiti’s finances and how Haitian demands for reparations have been repeatedly shut down. Alcenat says the series “exposes the rest of the world to a knowledge that actually has existed for over a hundred years,” and while he welcomes the series, he demands The New York Times apologize for publishing racist Haitian stereotypes in 2010 by columnist David Brooks. Horne also requests The New York Times make the revelatory documents that the series cites accessible to other historians. He says the series will “hopefully cause us to reexamine the history of this country and move away from the propaganda point that somehow the United States was an abolitionist republic when actually it was the foremost slaveholder’s republic.”
Fossil fuels vs. renewable energy – a debatable topic that’s amplified in the mining sector. Globally, we still rely on coal mining to supply the energy grid but a call has been made to increase stable power while lowering the reliance on carbon fuels. Industry experts discuss the future of the mining sector as we transition towards cleaner energy and mining for a sustainable tomorrow.
Climate and energy ministers from the Group of 7 (G7) wealthy nations pledged on Friday to significantly curb the use of coal and other fossil fuels in electricity production — with the goal of an “eventual” complete phaseout.
The announcement by Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Japan, Canada and the US — at the end of a three-day summit in Berlin — comes as Europe scrambles to find new energy sources and cut its reliance on Russian oil and gas over the war in Ukraine.
Germany, which is the current chair of the G7, has insisted that finding alternative fossil fuels would not happen at the expense of environmental goals.
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
The links are listed here to be used in whatever manner they may be helpful in public information campaigns, course preparation, teaching, letter-writing, lectures, class presentations, policy discussions, article writing, civic or Congressional hearings and citizen action campaigns, etc. For further information on this blog see: About this weblog. and How to use this weblog.
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